• KGS/USD = 0.01118 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00222 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09152 0.22%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01118 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00222 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09152 0.22%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%

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It Has Been 25 years Since the Terrorist Attack in Tashkent

TASHKENT, Uzbekistan - A lot of people in Uzbekistan remember where they were on that traumatic day 25 years ago. There are no public commemorations on the Feb. 16 anniversary. But every year, Uzbek media publish details about the 1999 bombings in Tashkent, the capital. School teachers briefly tell students about it. The Uzbek government blamed Islamic militants for the coordinated bombings that killed at least 16 people and injured about 100. Islam Karimov, president at the time, said extremists had intended to kill him. Abduvali Soyibnazarov, a political commentator in Uzbekistan, spoke about the attacks in a conversation with The Times of Central Asia. He said since his office – the Broadcasting Center of Uzbekistan is located in the central part of the city, the sounds of explosions were clearly heard by him. It was 10:40 a.m., Soyibnazarov recalled. “There was supposed to be a meeting of the government of Uzbekistan dedicated to the results of the economic development of the republic in the past year. Shortly before the start of the meeting, a shootout took place between the president’s guards and militants in the main square of Tashkent - in front of the government building,” he said. International news organizations scrambled to figure out what was happening. There was a false rumor that the Cabinet of Ministers building had been attacked with grenades. “The first explosion occurred shortly after the start of the shooting, on Yusuf Khos Khajib street of the capital, near the building of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. A ZAZ-968M car exploded,” Soyibnazarov said. The second explosion, the most powerful of the day, occurred at 10:55 a.m., 15 minutes after the first blast. “The explosion was in a car parked near Independence Square. Some residents, whose houses are two to three kilometers away from the place of the explosion, believed that an earthquake had started. Our Uzbek radio broadcasting center is also located in the central part of the city, so the explosion was very loud. Even the windows of our office almost broke,” he said. A third car blew up near the entrance of the Cabinet of Ministers building, during a meeting that Karimov was scheduled to attend. Karimov, however, had not yet arrived. After being informed about the attacks, he went to the scene and was addressing the nation on live television when – at 11:20 a.m. - a fourth bomb exploded a few kilometers away, near the National Bank of Uzbekistan. “As a result, the windows of the bank and surrounding buildings were shattered. People injured by broken glass were shown on TV. We heard explosions going off at different intervals in other parts of the city. The fifth and last explosion took place at 12 p.m. in the garage of a private house,” Soyibnazarov said. The casualties included three internal affairs officers, one of whom later died. Several days after the attacks, Karimov said he had narrowly escaped death. “I usually arrive at meetings 10-15 minutes early. But I was a...

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